When I was growing up, I wanted the boyfriend, popularity, or personality of others. I also didn't always want to share my friends. I was a captive of jealousy, and it didn't make me happy.
Although songs, books, and movies tell us that love isn't love without jealousy, there really isn't anything lovely about it. If jealousy isn't overcome, relationships can be ruined and lives darkened. As a young woman, I was beginning to see that I needed a release from jealous feelings.
Is there a way to get the victory over this obsessive emotion? Yes, by sincerely asking God for help though prayer. Looking through another lens, I could see that jealousy was an indication of a deeper call to understand a spiritual love from God that supplies all good.
It's impossible to want anything that belongs to another and at the same time understand the love of God. Attaining anything through someone else's loss only solidifies instability and lack of permanence.
I saw that this state of thought doesn't believe there is enough good for everyone. But I was learning that God as Love is providing only good all the time for His dearly loved creation, and that includes everyone.
Although owning things is normal, it takes using our spiritual sense to understand that all good belongs to God. We own goodness only as God is the source of it. In other words, nothing that God gives can be taken away from you and me; what God gives is permanent.
Understanding this kind of love began to allow me to more readily appreciate the good that I saw in my life and in the lives of others. This was a battle at times, but I began to feel freedom from imprisoning jealousy as a driving force in my life.
There are a number of stories in the Bible that give instruction about how to deal with jealousy. One that I've found helpful is the one about the time when Jesus was visiting his friends Martha and Mary.
While Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him, Martha was in the kitchen, busily fixing the meal.
Martha was disturbed because she felt that she was having to do all the work. She came out to ask Jesus why he didn't care about this and wanted him to ask Mary to help her. The real issue to me was that Martha was jealous of the time Mary was spending with Jesus.
Jesus told Martha that she was troubled about many things. He then went on to tell her, "One thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:42).
I love the simplicity of his answer. For me, it means that the most important part of living this life and relating to others must come from my understanding of the permanence of my spiritual nature in Love. Then, I have everything I need, and nothing can be taken from me. This is the only way I can see the same truth for others.
Now, years later, if I am tempted to want something that someone else has or feel that there isn't enough good to go around, I replace that demeaning concept with the idea of Love's inexhaustible nature that everyone possesses.
This is the innocence of my spiritual being where I can see that good is never missing for anyone.
... God pours
the riches of His love
into the understanding and affections, giving us strength according to our day.
Mary Baker Eddy,
"Science and Health
with Key to the Scriptures"